As I noted in my first look yesterday, iOS 7 takes a little getting used to. If you’ve already updated, or if you’re just looking to bone up on what’s new, here are some tips for getting the most out of Apple’s latest operating system for the iPhone and iPad.
Boost your privacy
With iOS 7 comes a whole host of changes that affect the way your device handles your privacy. Luckily, Apple has put everything in an easy-to-access place in the Settings app. The “Privacy” section shows what applications have asked for access to different features, including your social media accounts. While that in and of itself is nothing new, there are a couple important new settings that you should be aware of.
First, iOS 7 has started using an Advertising Identifier, a “non-permanent device identifier” that allows advertisers to track your device over time through apps that you use. Inside the Privacy > Advertising menu, you’ll find two options. The first, “Limit Ad Tracking,” means that advertisers won’t be able to use the Advertising Identifier to track you on your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. If you prefer personalized ads, you might want to leave it on.
If you ever want to become a completely different person as far as advertisers are concerned, you can reset your Advertising Identifier and get a brand new one. Any data companies have stored about your old identifier will remain, but your device will have a new identifier from then on.
Manage GPS tracking
Apple has added a new feature that tracks where you spend most of your time. It’s used primarily for personalization–your phone learns where you live and where you work, so that when you ask Siri how long it’ll take you to get to work in the morning, she’ll know.
Of course, if you’re not comfortable with your iPhone tracking your location and feeding that back to Apple, go to Privacy > Location Services > System Services, and toggle the options you don’t want to track you, including Location-Based iAds, and Frequent Locations.
Give Siri a deeper voice
One of the new changes to Siri that came along with a host of technical upgrades is the chance to switch between a male and female voice for your digital assistant. If you’re interested in trying out a different voice behind the same info, go to the Settings app, and then navigate to General > Siri > Voice Gender, and tap on whichever gender you’d prefer.
Prune your Processes
If you’re used to cleaning out apps you’re not using in your multitasking tray, iOS 7′s new design might throw you for a loop. To quit an app, double tap the home button (or flick up with four fingers on the iPad) to pull up the multitasking interface. From there, you can flip through your open apps, and if you want to quit one, just flick it upwards. You can also quit up to 3 apps (the most that are shown on the screen at one time) by swiping up on all of them at once.
In addition, if you want to have control over what apps can run in the background, go to General > Background App Refresh in the settings app, and toggle the apps you either do or don’t want to have the ability to refresh while in the background.
While you’re tinkering with your settings, be sure to protect yourself against the first security exploit targeting iOS 7 by going into Control Center in the settings app and toggling “Access on Lock Screen” off.
Have any nifty tidbits from your time with iOS 7? Share them in the comments.
Blair Hanley Frank is a technology journalist based in the San Francisco Bay Area. He has also worked for Macworld, PCWorld and TechHive. He can be found on Twitter @belril.